How a Photoelectric Sensor Saved My Job

by Larry Bush

photoelectric sensor

In 1996 I was employed as maintenance supervisor at an olive cannery in the heart of California’s fertile San Joaquin valley. We were restarting the cannery after an extended shutdown while the cannery changed owners. This was my first opportunity to work in the food industry and a cannery. There were issues for me to learn and learn fast. The new harvest season’s olives were due to start arriving just four weeks after I was hired.

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Pump Technology Balancing Tradition & Innovation

by Heinz P. Bloch

Process pump reliability logically involves a combination of fluid-related performance and design decisions that focus on engineering materials and the configuration of mechanical components. Recent case studies have pointed out improvement opportunities in the relative design conservatism found in certain process pump models. Combined with deficiencies in the training of personnel, it can be argued that pump reliability has not made as much progress as it perhaps could.

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10 Steps to Pump Reliability – Part 2

by Tom Dabbs and Dan Pereira

Hopefully you read Part 1 of “Ten Steps to Pump Reliability” and have been anxiously awaiting to read Part 2 of the article. You may get the impression that implementing these steps will be costly and very difficult to achieve. The thing you need to bear in mind is: “You are already spending the money.” The only question is: “Are you getting the result from your pumping systems that you are looking for?”

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10 Reasons Why You Should Audit Your Vibration Monitoring Program NOW!

by Alan Friedman

If you are currently running a vibration monitoring program in-house or outsourcing it to a consultant, before you potentially throw any more money in the toilet, you really need to audit your vibration monitoring program and ask yourself if you are getting any value out of it.

If you do not know what benefits you are getting from a program, you are probably not getting any benefits at all! On the other hand, if you are getting benefits but not documenting them, then your program is at risk for being cut. Either way, you need to know what is going on with your program and document it if it is good or fix it if it is not.

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Ten Steps to Pump Reliability – Part 1

By Tom Dabbs and Dan Pereira

Pump reliability is an old topic, but it is just as relevant today as it was the first time we heard it a few decades ago. There are some very good reasons to focus on improving pump reliability:

  • The average annual maintenance and operations spending on centrifugal pumps is 50 percent greater than for any other type of rotating machine (FiveTwelve Group, August 2006).
  • Centrifugal pumps in many plants consume more than 50 percent of total plant motor energy (Hydraulic Institute).
  • Pumps consume more energy than any other class of industrial equipment (U.S. Department of Energy, 2005).
  • A Finnish Research Center study of centrifugal pump performance (“Expert Systems for Diagnosis and Performance of Centrifugal Pumps,” 1996) found that the average pumping efficiency was less than 40 percent for 1,690 pumps reviewed across 20 different plants, including all market segments. The study also revealed that 10 percent of the pumps were less than 10 percent efficient.

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PLC: Programming in List on a Mitsubishi PLC – Part 2

by Jim Rowell

Last time, we pretty much ignored ladder diagrams. This time I’m giving you lots of them. We’ll look at the ins and outs of turning those pretty pictures into powerful text. You’ll gain insight into the block commands and the various structures that can be built using List. You’ll leave with full knowledge of the perils and pitfalls.

We’ll be using numbered as opposed to named I/O for the examples. Don’t get used to it and definitely don’t be discouraged by it. Numbers work best for showing you how the code works but they’re terrible at showing you what it’s actually doing. Your own code (with proper I/O names) will be much easier to follow. Continue reading

Matching a Hydraulic Motor to the Load

from Womack

On the design of a new machine which is to be run with a hydraulic motor, a determination of required speed and horsepower must be made so a model with suitable ratings can be selected. This article describes several methods of making such a determination.

Hydraulic vs. Electric Motor Characteristics
Designers who are experienced only in selecting electric motor drives need to be careful in designing hydraulic drives because of important differences between these two motors.

Normally, an electric motor is selected on the basis of horsepower. It is selected to match an existing power source which provides constant voltage and frequency. If it happens to be a little oversize for the job, no harm is done, although it may cost a little too much. Continue reading